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Author explores keys to success

Published:Sunday | June 22, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Glenville Ashby

Glenville Ashby REVIEWER

Title: Nuggets of Truth: Golden Principles for Successful Living

Author: Steve A. Cole

Edited by: Stacey Palmer

In an era when common folks grapple with the weight of 'making it', and are consumed by materialism, while thirsting for social mobility - if only to satisfy society's expectation - there comes along a comprehensive book that outlines simple and succinct precepts for authentic living.

Nuggets of Truth: Golden Principles for Successful Living by Steve Cole offers readers experiential advice. As he says repeatedly, Nuggets is not a how-to-do book, but rather one of counsel and softly spoken injunctions. Cole assumes the oratorical mastery of Joel Osteen, transferring the spoken word on to to a literary canvas. And it works. Cole speaks to the reader, readily displaying the gift of communication. For sure, his sincerity rings through. There is neither pretension nor pontification. There is no ivory tower dribble. His language is deliberate, simple, but equally profound. He cajoles while jolting the memory of the reader. "We have all had these experiences, haven't we?" The reader relates to every nugget because it is transcultural and existential. He deftly recalls his childhood, his college years and professional life when he glossed over sound advice on personal development due to ignorance, obduracy or fear of charting new waters.

Cole emphasises that the use of time is the sine qua non for success. We are all given 24 hours in the day and we are called upon to use that period wisely. He trumpets the value of preparation and converting dreams into reality through managing oneself and acquiring necessary skills. He slams fear of stepping outside one's comfort zone. How else can we realise our potential? He ever so calmly trounces the worker who contemplates quitting because of initial failures. Failure is the stepping stone, the pathway where life's lessons are learned. It offers invaluable experience needed to succeed.

He appeals to reason and logic, while being sharply anecdotal. What better way to cement his argument? We cannot risk selling ourselves short when preparing for a job. We must exude confidence in our abilities and present that aura of self-assurance. We must learn to quickly adapt to ever-shifting situations.

True happiness

But Cole's work transcends success in the workplace. And this is where Nuggets takes on a philosophical twist. He posits that true happiness is within, and not in the accumulation of things. "To the core ... lies the notion of inner peace," he writes. "Talk about inner peace and you can visualise yourself being unscathed by any random verbal diarrhoea ...". He is people-centred, asking us to be perceptive in understanding others. Life is a gestalt where authentic living is experienced only when we become our brother's keeper, for no one is an island. We must give back, he admonishes, because it is uplifting, ethical and spiritual. He cautions, though, that we must give without expecting any form of acknowledgement or exaltation.

His message is coloured with Christian principles, although its universal appeal is undeniable. And his words are soundly expressed. "Imagine you had within your hand a rock ... and you were to open your hand and give that rock freely to someone. In the same way you might have blessed someone by giving that away, your hand is now free to receive a precious stone someone is prepared to give you."

Will Nuggets transform every reader? Is it the consummate antidote to hopelessness and lost potential? Hardly likely. Yes, success demands our attention, patience and talent. It requires foresight and maturity to reinvent the wheel. But our genetic composition and personality may just trump sociological factors and how well we are raised and tutored through life. But for many of us who are willing to give Nuggets a chance, and clinically apply its principles with unswerving determination, we may verily reap some rewards.

Rating: Recommended